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Instead of ending Civil War Days, use it to tell the whole story

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Belle Montgomery

2nd Lieutenant
Oct 25, 2017

Union troops charge during a mock battle at Civil War Days in the Lakewood Forest Preserve on July 11, 2015. (Michael Schmidt/Lake County News-Sun)

There are two ways of dealing with the aspects of our common American history that are unpleasant to face.

One way is to acknowledge the facts with honesty, understand them as part of a shared heritage and learn the needed lessons from them.

The other way is to ignore aspects of our history in favor of whitewashing events in an effort to make them more pleasant, or at least more benign than they really were. This approach is an attempt to bury those memories so nothing is ever learned or understood.

When trying to understand history, I favor the first method.

Unfortunately for Lake County history buffs, Angelo Kyle, president of the Lake County Forest Preserve board, seems to prefer the other way. To Kyle, the unpleasant facts of American history are to be put down a memory hole, as George Orwell used to say.

Compounding this unfortunate approach, Kyle has misused his position in an attempt to unilaterally decide the types of historical events Lake County residents can participate in.

At issue is the annual Civil War Days event set for July 13-14 at the Lakewood Forest Preserve in Wauconda. At Civil War Days, residents can come and learn firsthand about the uniforms, the weapons, and the battle strategies used during a Civil War battle. It is a first-hand look at history that has been held for 27 years.

Without board input, Kyle attempted to cancel the event. Citing contractual
obligations he reversed course and said the event would go on this year, but maintained that he would like to see it come to an end.

The Civil War is fascinating history for millions of Americans who want to learn more about the devastating war in an effort to understand our history. More books have probably been written about the Civil War than any other event in American history. But reading only takes one so far.

Thanks to the reenactors, I’ve personally come to...
REST of Article:https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/ct-evr-column-blaser-civil-war-tl-0620-story.html
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